8 FEB, 2012

New York, NY — February 15, 2012 — For the 11th consecutive year, Thomas & Friends® was the number one license in the preschool toys category in the United States, according to The NPD Group, Inc. Thomas & Friends also holds the #1 spot for overall top preschool property in the US, and it was a top 10 property in the entire toy industry for 2011.  In the UK, Thomas was ranked #1 in the preschool toys category, a spot that it has held for 12 consecutive years. 

Further solidifying Thomas’ #1 spot, Thomas & Friends is #1 in the total preschool market for the fourth consecutive year in Australia, and Thomas also sits in pole position in Germany.

“Timelessness, engaging characters, and rich content are what make the Thomas & Friends brand appealing to generations of consumers,” said Pam Westman, Executive Vice President, The Americas, HIT Entertainment.  “In this fickle economic environment it’s a testament to the popularity of Thomas that the brand has been able to top the charts for more than a decade as #1 preschool license and #1 preschool property.  We are proud of Thomas’ longevity and look forward to many more years of being on a track for success!”

As of February 1, 2012, Thomas & Friends officially joined the Mattel family when HIT Entertainment became a division of Fisher-Price.  In addition to strong toy sales, the Thomas & Friends brand remains as popular as ever with increased viewership of the CGI television program up 86%* in the UK (FIVE Milkshake!), 50%** in the US (PBS), and 47%** in Australia (ABC)[1].  In Asia, Thomas is recognized by state broadcasters EBS in Korea and CCTV in China.  Global attendance at Day Out with Thomas events totals over 1.5 million visitors and the Thomas & Friends official website (www.thomandfriends.com) receives over 22.5 million page monthly page views from around the globe.

About HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading children's entertainment producers and rights owners. HIT Entertainment is a division of Fisher-Price.  HIT’s portfolio includes properties, such as Barney®, Bob the Builder®, Thomas & Friends®, Pingu®, Fireman Sam®, Angelina Ballerina® and Rainbow Magic®. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com

To download artwork, please visit www.hitnewsonline.com.



Noelle Dong \ HIT Entertainment PR – The Americas                                  

T: 646.467.5336 \ ndong@hitentertainment.com                        


Sarah Georgiakakis, HIT Entertainment – UK & International

Direct: +44 (0) 207 554 2560 / 07738 026574

Email: sgeorgiakakis@hitentertainment.com


[1] * BARB  ** Nielsen  ***OzTAM